Design and evaluation of the computer-based training program Calcularis for enhancing numerical cognition
Kaeser T., et al, 2013, Frontiers in Psychology
The purpose of this article was both to introduce the key concepts of Calcularis (user-specific adaptations, multisensory learning, modelling of the neurological development process) and to present the results of the first Calcularis study, the aim of which was to show whether pupils were better able to cope with number line tasks and the basic operations of addition and subtraction as a result of using Calcularis. It also intended to investigate if and how learning progress differed after 6 weeks’ and 12 weeks’ training. As such, the children trained for 15-20 minutes three to four times per week, over a period of either 6 or 12 weeks.
The children were able to gain significant benefits from the training, with the 12-week training period bringing greater benefits than the six-week one. After 12 weeks of training, the children were able to solve number line tasks with 30% greater accuracy, while the number of correctly solved addition and subtraction tasks increased by 45%.
The improvement in the children’s ability to solve subtraction tasks was greater than for the addition tasks. This is because subtraction was generally more difficult for the children at the outset and thus Calcularis adapted by presenting them with a greater number of subtraction problems. The study also showed that Calcularis automatically spends more on the areas in which the children have a greater need for support.